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Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story

Digital Eclipse
Mar 13, 2024 - PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

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Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story | Launch Trailer thumbnail

Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story | Launch Trailer

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Critic Reviews for Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story

In the latest from the team behind The Making of Karateka, a true genius gets an interactive museum for the ages

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The Making of Karateka feels like it was told by someone who really loves video games, whereas Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story feels more like it was told by someone who loves Jeff Minter. It’s more interested in showing the man and less about telling his story. Instead, Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story just feels like an organized box of stuff. It’s a pretty great box of stuff, but it should have been more than that.

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As a hub for video game preservation, Digital Eclipse's latest is fine. It does the absolute minimum and not a bit more. As a piece of history, though, it’s baffling, incomplete, and rushed. I can’t help but think that perhaps the Jeff Minter story that Digital Eclipse wanted to tell proved too unwieldy and maybe too expensive to fit into this release, and what we end up with is this pared down version. Even that doesn't explain the lack of effort to actually tell a story and put any of Minter's life and work in worthwhile context.

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An industry iconoclast, beloved eccentric and arguably the father of modern high score chasing, the sort of spotlight that the Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story puts on its titular subject feels hugely overdue to say the least. Beautifully put together with a wealth of painstakingly researched historical material, candid looks at Jeff's storied life from Jeff himself and just about all of the games that heralded his rise to prominence in the games industry packed in for kicks, Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story is a masterclass how you find out about one of the charismatic and genuinely talented legends of the games industry - and you'll have a great time doing it.

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Although few titles in the collection can honestly still entertain today - in the meantime we have become accustomed to much more - rediscovering Jeff Minter's "woolly" games was a fun and very, very intriguing journey. Added to the nostalgia is the possibility of knowing completely unpublished details of the development, and this collection, very well done in terms of quantity and quality of the material proposed, has an indisputable historical value. A journey that is willingly retraced by reading, listening and playing. Especially playing.

Review in Italian | Read full review

Much like last year's The Making of Karateka, Digital Eclipse’s format sets a high standard for retro collections going forward. It's made the story of these games accessible to all audiences. As a portrait of Jeff, it’s a heartwarming and educational depiction of a personality every gamer should know about.

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Though I am so far impressed with these Gold Master Series, this one is ranked 3rd out of 3, if I include the amazing Atari 50. I respect the hell out of Jeff Minter for being THE indie game creator. There are some games missing that may come at a later date, and some that I'll never play again. But I think that's what Jeff wants. Stay weird, Mr. Minter. Stay weird.

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The Gold Master Series remains the gold standard for telling these stories. Living in the era when almost any game can be playable on modern consoles is truly great. I always get excited when Digital Eclipse announces a new one of these. I cannot wait to see what they cover next and hopefully this series never ends. Big game publishers would be wise to get in on this trend, no one does it better than Digital Eclipse.

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